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Indeed, StepStone & Co. - is there a future for online job boards?

02/05/2023 2023/05

The way we look for jobs and apply for them has changed a lot in recent years. Newspaper ads and job fairs used to be the main channels for finding potential employers. Today, the Internet has brought a revolutionary change in how we search for and apply for jobs. Online job portals like Indeed, Stepstone & Co. have become important tools to bring employers and job seekers together. These job portals include job boards and job search engines. The difference is that job boards like StepStone, Jobware or Monster are online platforms used by employers to post job ads and attract potential applicants :inside. On the other hand, job seekers search for vacancies on job boards and apply directly to companies. Job search engines, such as Indeed or Kimeta, are tools that aggregate job listings from various job boards, career sites, and company websites and collect them in a central location. Job seekers can use job search engines to quickly and easily search through many job openings and find the ones that best match their requirements.

But what is the added value of using online job portals for your company? And will portals continue to play an important role in the world of work in the future, or will they be displaced by new technologies and trends?

Pros & cons of using online job portals

Online job portals offer companies many advantages, but there are also some challenges that you as a company have to face. We have briefly summarized probably the most important ones here.


Wide reach: with online job portals, you reach an enormously large audience of potential applicants.

Simple processes: You can quickly and easily post and manage a job ad. Applicants will find a wealth of features that simplify the application process, such as the ability to create a profile and apply directly through the platform.

Time and cost effective: Compared to traditional job ads in newspapers or magazines, using online job portals is much more cost and time effective for you. Moreover, on most portals you can create and publish your job ads yourself.

Targeted advertising: Online job portals also offer you the opportunity to place targeted advertisements, making your job ads accessible to specific target groups.

Tracking tools: Many online portals use tracking tools that allow you to track the success of your job ads. This gives you an idea of how often your ads were viewed, how many applications were received, and how long it took for a position to be filled.


Large offering: There are now a large number of job portals competing for the attention of users. New platforms are constantly being added and may offer better functions or lower prices. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of which portal is currently best suited for your target applicant group. Specialized HR agencies such as ARTS, which have the necessary monitoring tools and experience, can help here.

High competition: Several thousand jobs are published each month on the major online job exchanges and job search engines, such as StepStone or Indeed. Being found and attracting attention is not easy. This can be remedied by job optimization, which means, for example, using job titles that are actually searched for by the target group.

Qualification level: Since online job portals are so widespread, it can be difficult to find applicants with the required qualifications and experience. Here, it is important that you exhaust all the targeting options that the individual job portals offer in order to actually reach the previously categorized target group. Otherwise, your HR department may have to sift through a large number of applications to identify qualified applicants.

Target only actively searching candidates: People who search for open positions on an online job portal are actively looking for new career opportunities. Passive searchers, i.e. candidates who are willing to change jobs but are not actively looking for a job, are not addressed here. Programmatic job ads or active sourcing, for example, make much more sense here. Depending on the applicant target group, the ratio between active and passive searchers varies.

How do the future of online job portals actually look?

More and more companies are now using automated systems to process applications and select suitable candidates. This means that the role of online job exchanges and job search engines may become less important, as they no longer serve as a central place to apply for jobs. Furthermore, we are increasingly observing that many applicants :inside no longer search exclusively on job portals. Instead, they use social media such as LinkedIn or Xing to find job offers. This means that you, as an employer, must also be present on these channels in order to reach all potential candidates.

Despite these challenges, the future of online job portals in Germany looks promising. They will be characterized by digitization and advancing technology, and online recruiting will continue to grow. Job portals will evolve accordingly in the coming years to meet the needs of users and employers and to make job search and recruitment more effective and efficient. Some of the trends that are emerging are:

Artificial Intelligence: job portals are increasingly relying on AI to enable personalization, recommendations and more effective job search.

Mobile recruiting: more and more job seekers are using mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to search for suitable positions. Job boards and job search engines will continue to adapt to this and optimize their platforms for mobile devices.

Social media recruitment: Social networks such as LinkedIn or Xing are gaining in importance and will also be used for job searches and personnel recruitment. Accordingly, job portals will increasingly rely on social media integration.

Video recruiting: Application videos are gaining in importance and are being offered more and more frequently by job boards.

How do you find the right platform for your positions?

With so many job portals specializing in different industries and professional fields, making the right choice for your own positions is not easy and depends on a number of factors, such as the type of position you want to fill, the target group you want to address, the budget you have available for ad placement, and the region in which your company is located. So, putting together the right recruiting mix requires extensive analysis and research.

That said, there are some channels and platforms that are generally considered effective at placing job ads. Here are some options where an ad might be most worthwhile:

Generalists: job portals such as StepStone, Indeed and Monster are among the most commonly used platforms. These portals offer a high reach and are popular with job seekers because they offer a wide range of job listings. Many of these portals also have special functions to filter applicants.

Industry-specific job boards: depending on the industry, there are special online job markets that have a high reach in the target group. For example, there are job boards for IT professionals, engineers, designers or nurses. These niche job boards may have fewer users than the big generalists, but you will reach exactly the target group you want and thus the applicants with the specific skills and experience that are relevant to your industry.

Referrals and personal contacts: Personal referrals and contacts are still an important source for attracting new employees. Employers can ask employees to share job postings or reach out directly to people they know. If employers can successfully attract employees  this way, they can not only save time and money, but also attract employees who already have a connection to the company.

So, in addition to traditional online job portals, you should also use other channels and employ targeted marketing strategies to differentiate your job openings from the competition and be successful as an employer in the search for talent. In addition, you can also use targeted programmatic job advertising (automated and target group-specific playout of ads in real time) to draw the attention of passively searching candidates to your positions who are not actively looking for a job.

Multiposting agencies can be a valuable support in choosing the right job portals. They have broad experience and the right expertise to ensure that your job postings are published on the appropriate job portals to reach the best candidate for your open positions. This saves you time and money and frees you up to focus on your core business - hiring the best candidates for your company.


Online job portals will continue to play an important role in the recruitment and application process. However, in order to be successful as a company when placing a job ad and to find suitable talent, it is important to put together an optimal recruiting mix and to spread the job ads widely with the help of an efficient multiposting strategy. 

Are you ready for your perfect job ad?

With our many years of experience in personnel marketing, we have already been able to successfully support companies such as Die Autobahn GmbH des Bundes, Amadeus or the Hochschulrechenzentrum (HRZ) der TU Darmstadt in filling their positions with our multiposting service.

Take advantage of our expertise to market your vacancies more effectively and achieve your recruiting goals.

About the Author
Maria Rascher
Service Owner HR Marketing

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